Rotary’s strength comes from the combined efforts of business and professional people who want to give back the community, and who want to meet and work with other like-minded people.  It is the place where business meets community service.

To learn more about membership in Oakland Rotary, please contact Lori Cloutier, Executive Director, or Jillian Loh, Membership Development Chair.

Upcoming Programs
Apr 17, 2014
Opportunities and Challenges in your Backyard
Apr 24, 2014
No Meeting at the California Ballroom
May 01, 2014
Cops & Robbers
May 08, 2014
Spicey Business: the Story of Oaktown Spice Shop
May 15, 2014
Etiquette updated, for you in 2014
May 22, 2014
Jun 05, 2014
HUB Oakland
Jun 12, 2014
The View from Inside: CHO's new affiliation with UCSF
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Current Events
Cocktails with the President - April 17 Home of Chicken and Waffles
Apr 17, 2014 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
New Member Orientation-Apr. 24 Rotary Conference Room
Apr 24, 2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
New Member Cocktail Party May 1 Ken and Carla Betts' house
May 01, 2014 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Saroni-Lena Scholarship Mtg - May 6, 2014 Rotary Office Conference Room
May 06, 2014 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
New Member Orientation-May 8 Rotary Conference Room
May 08, 2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Rotary on the Horizon - May 8 Horizon Beverage Company
May 08, 2014 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Youth & Education Committee May Donahue Gallagher and Woods
May 08, 2014 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
New Member Orientation-May 22 Rotary Conference Room
May 22, 2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Kinderprep summer take home book packing party Oakland Rotary Club Conference room
May 24, 2014 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Rotary KinderPrep Children's Fairyland field trip Children's Fairyland
May 30, 2014 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM
New Member Orientation-June 5 Rotary Conference Room
Jun 05, 2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
KinderPrep Summer take-home book classroom deliver Meet at Peter Sherris' home to pick up books
Jun 06, 2014 09:30 AM - 11:00 AM
New Member Orientation-June 19 Rotary Conference Room
Jun 19, 2014 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Come Join Us!

Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:15 PM

California Ballroom

1736 Franklin St. Second Floor
Suite 200
Oakland, CA 94612-3423
United States

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What's Happening in Oakland Rotary

On March 27, we celebrated 20 years of HOPE. In January 1994, with the leadership of then-President Jack McAboy, Oakland Rotary embarked on a program that would positively affect the lives of many.  Because of the significant challenges faced by inner-city youth, the HOPE program was formed.  HOPE stands for Help Oakland Pupils Excel.  Pete Mesa was Superintendent of Schools and enthusiastically endorsed the program. Here’s how it worked:

We selected five middle-of-the-road students at Lowell Middle School in Oakland and entered into a four-way contract with them. The four parties include: the student, their caregiver, the school, and their mentor.  Each has an important role.  If the student maintains a 2.5 GPA, 90 percent attendance and remains crime and drug free through high school, Oakland Rotary provides up to $10,000 toward post-secondary education of their choice.

What were their odds without HOPE?  OUSD has a 37 percent drop out rate and that includes the hill schools.  Imagine what it is in the flatlands.  None of the students we select have a history of academic success in their families.  Seventy percent of the students at Lowell Middle School did not live with either one of their biological parents at the time we started the program.  They were faced with violence, drugs, and prostitution virtually every day in their neighborhoods.  It’s tough to come out of that environment and succeed.

Our club stepped up to the plate to help these kids and raised $300,000 to fund the program.  Since its inception, we’ve mentored approximately 92 students and are still in contact with four of the first five. Most have graduated from high school, although may not have finished the program for various reasons. Today, we have 36 in the program. We know that 30 students completed the program and attended either trade school or college. We have two with Master’s degrees and one with a law degree from Hastings and one who’s applying for a Ph.D. We have three students in high school and another three in the 7th grade that are just starting their journey.

I feel particularly honored because I was one of the first group of mentors and my student, Rachel Richardson, attend the meeting on March 27th. Rachel graduated from McClymonds High School and UC Berkeley and has worked at the Haas School of Business for almost ten years and has had two promotions. I am, and have always been, extremely proud of Rachel, who is also a Paul Harris Fellow.

William Reliford graduated in 2008 from SF State with a degree in Rec & Leisure Services. He has also received his Master’s and is about to apply for a Ph.D. William currently works for Oakland Parks & Rec Dept. His mentors were Melody Fuller and Dave Lewis. 

Donte graduated from McClymonds High in 2013 and is currently a Freshman at Berkeley City College. His mentor is Mike Melone.

Let me tell you about the other 33 students who are currently in the program.

Kenya Alfred – graduated in 2004 from Prairie A & M College. She earned a Master’s degree in Psychology in 2010. Her mentor is Jean Lyford, with the Orinda Rotary Club. Presently Kenya is working for the Alameda County Welfare Dept. Safeway Program for Abused Children. In her words: “Thanks to the HOPE program and my mentor Jean Lyford, I was the first in my family to graduate from high school. I then graduated from college and went on to get a Masters's degree.  Both my younger sister and brother followed me and graduated from college as well, so HOPE affected my whole family.  Thank you to Oakland Rotary. Kenya was in our first class in January 1994, along with Rachel Richardson.

Columbus Lewis – Graduated from Pharmacy Tech School in 2005. Worked for Rite Aid in Sacramento and is presently managing property in Oakland. His mentor was Dwight Dunn.

Javier Banuelos – Graduated from Vallejo High in 1999. He has served three tours of duty in Iraq. His mentor was Eddie Snow.

Teddy Saelee – Graduated from Oakland High in 2002. He attended Laney College. He’s working at Oakland Parks & Rec Dept. His mentor was Bob Miller.

Katrice Davis – Graduated from McClymonds in 2002. Today she’s a legal secretary with an Oakland law firm. Her mentor was Shaun Leimbach.

Konisha Hammons – Graduated from Oakland High School in 2002 and attended Sacramento State. Her mentor was Debbie DeDeminico.

Quiana Cash – Graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC in 2006, Magna cum laude. She graduated from Hastings Law School in 2010, summa cum laude. Her mentor was Jack McAboy.

Monroe Shed – Graduated from Campbell University in 2007. He earned his MBA from Fayetteville State University in 2009. His mentor was Joel Rosenberg.

Vanessa Cardenas – Graduated from Fremont High in 2000 and graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2009. Her mentor was Marianne Robison.

Stephen Giles – Graduated from SF State in 2007, majoring in Mass Communications. His mentor was Greg Keller.

Jerome Goode – Graduated from Oakland High in 1997 He attended Merrit College and Westly College. Jerome currently works at Oakland High as an Assistant Coach. His mentor was John Tallarida.

Michelle Marshall – Graduated from Oakland High in 2002. She went to Bryman School and became a Medical Technician. Her mentor was Marion Sylvestre-Wilson.

Rhonda Shields – Graduated from McClymonds High in 2003. She also went to Bryman School and became a Medical Technician. Her mentor was Debra Bell.

Linda Chandarsame – Graduated from Fremont High in 2005. Graduated from UC Davis in 2010. Her mentor was Gudrun Dybdal.

Lynn Yasol – Graduated from Cal State East Bay. Her mentor was Dolores Nielsen.

Camil Clemmons – Graduated from Cal State Los Angeles and was anticipating going to Medical School. Her mentor was Marion Sims.

Nigel Hicks – Graduated from McClymonds High in 2002. Graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2008. His mentor was Dana Sack.

Be-Naiah Williams – Graduated from McClymonds High in 2002 and attended St. Mary’s college. His mentor was Robert Kidd.

Dejour Bell Tyler – Graduated from Rudsdale Continuation in 2007. Attended Western Career College. His mentor was David Rabb.

Tianna Pittman – Graduated from McClymonds High in 2008 and last we heard was a senior at South Texas College. Her mentor was April Rizzi.

Donte Gholeston – Graduated from Oakland Tech in in 2009 and is currently going to Cal State East Bay. His mentor is Joe Goralka.

Erika Cotton – Graduated from Antioch High in 2010 . She went to Laney College and is attending Carrington College majoring in Massage Therapy. Her mentor is Judge Trina Thompson.

Marquetta Stokes – Graduated from Oakland Tech in 2010. Received her AA from Pasadena City College and is attending Southern University in New Orleans, LA. Her mentor is Marion Sims.

Saline McCullough – Graduated from Dewey High in 2010. She currently attending Berkeley City College. Her mentors are Gudrun Dybdal and Marion Sims.

Devante Brooks – Graduated from Oakland Tech in 2011 and is going to Cal State East Bay. His mentor is Alex Greenwood.

Diana Garcia – Graduated from San Lorenzo High in 2012 and is currently attending Chabot Jr. College. Her mentor is Catherine Coleman.

Zacharish Cooper – Graduated from Oakland High in 2012 and is currently attending Diablo Valley College. His mentor is Sheri Atanda.

Our three high school students are:

Evelio Banegas is currently a junior at Oakland High. His mentor is David Rabb.

Sadiah Brown is currently attending Mid-West High School and is in the 9th grade. Her mentor is Sheri Atanda.

Jerrikka Mitchell  is a senior at Kennedy High. Her mentor is Janet Ferraro.

Our three new 7th graders and their mentors:

Orande Ferguson is attending Roosevelt Middle School, and his mentor is Rod Hughes.

Jah-Neese Martin is attending Bret Harte Middle School, and her mentor is Stephanie Casenza.

Marquise Evans is attending Westlake Middle School, and his mentor is Gary Flaxman.

We’d also like to acknowledge Mrs. Meeks from Roosevelt Middle School and Donte Rogers, Educational Director with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland Ossian E. Carr Unit, as well as all the caregivers. A huge thank you to Marion Sims. He maintains all the grades, relationships, paperwork, communications, school relations, events, training, and much more. An equally huge thank you to Jack McAboy for his continued leadership and commitment to the HOPE program.

How can YOU help support this program? There are two ways to do this: become a mentor and get involved and make a difference in someone’s life. Or, give to the HOPE program with your ORE donation at Rotary.  This will help us perpetuate our ability to serve students into the future.Thank you.

Iris Brody Lopez

Posted by Mark Rosen on Mar 18, 2014


High Adventure needs your comments and thoughts for 2014

Here are some of the activities we are planning for, BUT we need to know if you would attend.

If interested, just drop a quick e-mail to listing the activity of interest.

And if you don't see something of interest, you can let Mark know that as well.

Cal Football Game

Bike Ride Napa Wine Country

Kayak Adventure - Elkhorn Slough or Monterey Bay

Camping & Fishing Trip ( Tahoe/Truckee Area)

A's Baseball Game

Giant's Baseball Game

Introduction to Scuba Diving (swimming pool)



Posted by Peter Sherris on Dec 17, 2013

Dick and Vicki Davis were among over two dozen Rotarians opening gifts with five year olds.

Rotary Club of Oakland
1736 Franklin Street, Suite 200
Oakland, CA 94612

Telephone: 510-451-2120
  Fax:        510-451-2121

Executive Director: Pat Williams, ext. 10

Youth & Education Committee's New Project


This year, the Youth and Education Committee will be undertaking support of a new Oakland Unified School District program for pre-kindergarteners, called Transitional Kindergarten, which is the first new grade level since the 1870s. This will be a key educational program to get kids started learning early, which is crucial to later success.

Saroni-Lena Scholarship Winners







Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee member Vincent Mok introduced five outstanding scholarship recipients for the 2012-2016 time period. Students holding flowers (from left) are Jalissa Tello, Gabriel Kardener, Angelica Pardo, and Stephanie Hang. Missing was Angela McNeal. The committee wishes to thank Rotarians for their contributions to ORE that funded these scholarships.

Oakland Rotary Calendar
         Apr 2014         
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